I was saddened to hear the tragic death of Coronation Street star Anne Kirkbride, because we knew each other almost 50 years ago.
Anne (60) has been an amazing actress throughout her life and has been on TV for 42 years. She was only 17 when she became Deirdre Hunt on Coronation Street, who later married Ken Barlow, played by William Roache.
Me and Anne first met back in the Sixties. We used to see each other on our bus regularly as we went to different schools in Oldham from our Saddleworth homes. She lived in Scouthead and went to Counthill Grammar School, while I lived in Delph and was at Hulme Grammar School.
And later we were both members of a youth theatre in Oldham. She was a great young actress then – I was carrying out lighting work there. We used to talk a lot and meet up with a big group of friends for meals and things.
After starting to appear on television, Anne became one of the best-loved stars on British TV and has been there so long.
So it was a real shock to find out she had passed away. I am so saddened by it. I feel really sorry for her husband David Beckett and her family and friends. And her Coronation Street colleagues and her watchers will miss her, too.